Tuesday, March 25, 2008


Now that's what I call generous. The wonderful cooking blog Cooking by The Seat of My Pants is giving away a FREE ipod! I hope I win, since I must be the last person on earth who doesn't have one.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Shrimp Jambalaya

I bought some shrimp the other night and was looking for a recipe that I hadn't made before. I decided to make a jambalaya, which is something we haven't had in awhile. Since it was pretty late, I searched for a recipe that was quick to make and was not too complex. Here's what I made, with my substitutions in italics. It was excellent and easy to make!
Jambalaya with Shrimp and Andouille Sausage
Cooking Light magazine

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon minced garlic
6 ounces andouille sausage, sliced (omitted since I didn't have any)
1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
1 bay leaf
2 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth (used 1 can chicken broth)
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon tomato paste (omitted)
1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (used Frank's Hot Sauce)
1 (14.5-ounce) can no salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained (used roasted variety)
1/2 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp (used 1 lb shrimp)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (sprinkled some dry on top before serving)

Heat olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped bell pepper, minced garlic, and sausage; sauté 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Add rice and the next 7 ingredients (through bay leaf); cook 2 minutes. Add broth, water, tomato paste, hot pepper sauce, and diced tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes. Add shrimp; cook 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Discard bay leaf. Stir in parsley.

Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 1/2 cups)

Nutritional Information
CALORIES 426(27% from fat); FAT 12.7g (sat 3.9g,mono 2.8g,poly 1g); PROTEIN 25g; CHOLESTEROL 117mg; CALCIUM 99mg; SODIUM 763mg; FIBER 4.9g; IRON 5.1mg; CARBOHYDRATE 52.7g

Lia Huber , Cooking Light, APRIL 2005

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Salmon with Basil-Dijon Cream Sauce

I am always on the quest for the perfect salmon recipe. I came across this recipe and was glad to see that it was Weight Watchers friendly, although with my substitutions, it probably wasn't so. It was a delicious way to serve salmon. I would probably cut the sauce recipe in half next time because we had a lot of sauce left over for just the two of us. I served it with some sauted spinach with blue cheese and pine nuts.

Pan-Seared Salmon with Basil-Dijon Cream Sauce
from the Dinner with Danielle blog
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon shallot or red onion, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup fat-free milk (I used whole milk)
  • 1 tablespoon Weight Watchers whipped cream cheese spread (I used sour cream)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped into thin ribbons
  • 4 ounces boneless salmon fillet
  • pinch salt
  • pinch pepper
  • non-stick cooking spray
Heat oil in a small saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot, stirring constantly, until shallot starts to soften and edges become slightly brown, 2-3 minutes. Immediately add white wine and whisk in mustard until fully incorporated.

Whisk in milk until fully incorporated, then whisk in whipped cream cheese until fully incorporated. When cream cheese melts, stir in basil and remove from heat promptly. Using a rubber spatula, transfer sauce into a small bowl and set aside

Season all sides of salmon with salt and pepper. Heat same saute pan over medium-high heat. Lightly coat with non-stick cooking spray. Place salmon (top-side down) onto center of pan and cook until slightly brown (2-3 minutes). Reduce heat to medium-low.

Using a large spatula, flip salmon over, cover pan, and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches about 140 degrees, 4-5 minutes. Uncover and remove from heat. Transfer salmon to a plate and drizzle sauce over fish.

6 Servings
1 WW point per serving

Chicken with Beans and Spinach

I've had this recipe starred in my Google Reader for quite some time and have just now decided to make it. It was wonderfully good! Plus it gave me a chance to make real bacon, something I haven't made in a long time. It comes from Elly who participates in a cooking message board that I belong to and also happens to have an excellent blog. With the success of this recipe, I can't wait to try her other recipes.

Chicken with Beans and Spinach
from Elly Says Opa blog

Chicken Stew with White Beans and Spinach
Serves 2-4 (but really? probably 2 :)

3 slices bacon, chopped
4 chicken thighs, bone-in and skinless
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken broth
1 bay leaf
1 tsp. oregano
1 can cannellini or other white beans, drained
2 cups fresh spinach
salt and pepper

In a large saute pan with lid, cook the bacon until it has rendered its fan. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Pour off the bacon fat until about 1 Tbsp. remains in the pan.

Sprinkle the chicken with salt and pepper and sear it in the bacon fat, to brown, on both sides. Remove from pan.

Add the onions and cook until tender. Stir in the garlic and once the garlic becomes fragrant, stir in the tomato paste. Cook approximately one minute.

Add the wine to the pan to deglaze. Cook for about 2 minutes, scraping up the browned bits. Add the chicken broth, bay leaf, oregano, salt and pepper to taste, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken back in the pan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash about 1/3 of the can of beans with a fork or a potato masher--not into a paste, but just breaking up some of the beans (this will make the texture of the final product better). After the chicken has simmered 15 minutes, add the whole beans and the mashed beans into the pan. Cover, simmering an additional 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Add back in the bacon and the spinach. Cook just until spinach is wilted, about 2 minutes. Serve with some crusty bread to sop up the tomato-y goodness.

Chinese Takeout ATK Style

I received the America's Test Kitchen "Best New Recipe" Cookbook for Christmas and have just now made my first recipe. I had bought some rancher's reserve beef strips and decided to make the Stir-Fried Beef and Broccoli with Oyster Sauce. I was a bit afraid it would have too much of an oyster sauce flavor, something I am not that fond of. But leave it to the chef's at ATK to create a wonderful stir fry that tasted just like Chinese takeout. Enjoy!

Sitr-Fried Beef and Broccoli with Oyster Sauce
from The Best New Recipe cookbook

1 LB flank steak, sliced
3 TBS soy sauce
1 TBS dry sherry
2 TBS chicken broth
5 TBS oyster sauce
1 TBS light brown sugar
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
1 tsp cornstarch
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS minced fresh ginger
3 TBS peanut or vegetable oil
1 1/4 LBS broccoli, florets cut into bite-size pieces
1/3 cup water
1 small red bell pepper, diced
3 medium scallions, sliced 1/2 inch thick

Combine the beef and soy sauce in a medium bowl; cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 10 min or up to 1 hour, stirring once.

Meanwhile, whisk sherry, chicken broth, oyster sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and cornstarch in measuring cup. Combine the garlic, ginger, and 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil in small bowl.

Drain the beef and discard the liquid. Heat 1 1/2 teaspoons of the peanut oil in a non-stick 12 inch skillet over high heat until smoking. Add half the beef to the skillet and break up the clumps; cook without stirring, 1 minute, then stir and cook until the beef is browned around the edges, about 30 seconds. Transfer the beef to a medium bowl. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the peanut oil to the skillet, heat until just smoking, and repeat with the remaining beef.

Add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil to now-empty skillet; heat until just smoking. Add the broccoli and cook 30 seconds; add water, cover the pan, and lower the heat to medium. Steam the broccoli until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes; transfer to paper towel–lined plate.

Add the remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons peanut oil to the skillet; increase heat to high and heat until just smoking. Add the bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until spotty brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.

Clear the center of skillet; add the garlic and ginger mixture to the clearing and cook, mashing mixture with a spoon, until fragrant, 15 to 20 seconds, then stir mixture into the peppers. Return the beef and broccoli to skillet and toss to combine. Whisk the sauce to recombine, then add to the skillet; cook, stirring constantly, until sauce is thickened and evenly distributed, about 30 seconds.

Transfer to serving platter, sprinkle with the scallions, and serve.